The oldest surviving clock in England is that at Salisbury Cathedral, which dates from 1386. A clock erected at Rouen, France, in 1389 is still extant, and one built for Wells Cathedral in England is preserved in the Science Museum in London. The Salisbury clock strikes the hours, and those of Rouen and Wells also have mechanisms for chiming at the quarter hour. These clocks are large, iron-framed structures driven by falling weights attached to a cord wrapped around a drum and regulated by a mechanism known as a verge (or crown wheel) escapement. Their errors probably were as large as a half hour per day. The first domestic clocks were smaller wall-mounted versions of these large public clocks. They appeared late in the 14th century, and few examples have survived; most of them, extremely austere in design, had no cases or means of protection from dust.
To truly earn its place on your nightstand, an alarm clock should be reliable and versatile, letting you customize your wake-up experience without letting you down. This model is actually more than just an alarm: It has two USB chargers and two outlets. That alone means you and your significant other might fight for who gets to put this clock next to their side of the bed. Thanks to its backup battery, you won’t have a Home Alone oversleeping situation when you need to get to the airport or the power goes out. There’s a big snooze button for those mornings when you need some extra Zs.
“Great alarm clock for the price. Gigantic numbers for my old eyes. Very basic, easy to set, just what I wanted. Alarm is loud even on low [with] an awful sound that would wake the dead. But that sound makes me get right up, so it does exactly what it’s supposed to do. If you want a soft gentle caress to wake you, get something else, but this is a good alarm and easy to use.”
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